Skip directly to content


Groups of travelers recognized by all who abide by the Treaty of Still Waters. A travail has an official start and destination, with an intent to be met at the end.

There are traditional points of departure and arrival for each type of travail. The group receives a dated charter from their origin addressed to some representative at the destination stating the intentions, members of the group, and planned route. This serves as their way of passage and any tolls paid will be stamped here.

Many groups give themselves a name, and sometimes a symbol. Their packages as well as their document are marked with these so they can be more easily returned if lost or identified if stolen. Groups that make the same trip repeatedly may use the same symbol as a sort of brand name, building trust (or ire) around it.

Travails are subject to several edicts in the Treaty of Still Waters, the most important being that of non-interference. Nations and Borderlands are allowed to extract reasonable tolls and tariffs from groups crossing their borders on route to another, but are not allowed to hinder their progress. Some portion of these tolls are expected to be spent on maintaining and patrolling passable roads.

There are any number of unscrupulous merchants and inn-keepers who are not beholden to the laws the treaty imposes on states, and will bilk travelers for all they can. Patrols become less common as one moves deeper into the Borderlands, and some fall in with the highwaymen they are supposed to oppose. Attacks by animals, garoulin, or other beasts are real possibilities, as well as contentious weather.

Criminals and Sects are not given official protection, but some carry coded charters for passage through the underworld. Military groups are theoretically allowed under the treaty, but only small bands functionally move across borders without dispute or negotiation.

In sparsely populated regions, there are at least campsites placed at each day’s journey along the better roads. Work crews visit them annually (in good years) to clear back any thick growth and repair the simple shelters. It’s common to meet other groups at these way-stations, and they are frequented by entertainers and tinkerers. Unfortunately, they are also popular places to waylay the unwary, so campers are still advised to post watch.